Samsung back to No.1 in phone displays

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Samsung reclaimed the No.1 slot in the global smartphone display market in Q3 as the company capitalised on record-high demand for AMOLEDs, according to IHS Markit.

Samsung accounted for 29 percent of smartphone display shipments in the third quarter, up from 21.3 percent share during the second quarter, according to IHS Markit. The increase propelled Samsung past BOE display to take the market lead for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2018.

“Smartphone makers have seen the future, and that future lies in AMOLED technology,” said David Hsieh, senior director at IHS Markit. “All the major smartphone brands, including Samsung, Apple, Huawei, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi, have adopted AMOLED technology in their high-end models in 2019."

Smartphone AMOLED shipments totaled 146 million units in the third quarter, up from 93 million in the second quarter, a record quarterly high for the display technology. In comparison, a-Si TFT LCD shipments totaled 177 million.

Meanwhile, LTPS TFT LCD shipments for smartphones totalled 144 million. This marks this first time that quarterly AMOLED shipments have surpassed LTPS TFT LCD shipments in the smartphone market.

As more and more smartphone brands adopt AMOLEDs for their high-end and even mid-range models, the market is expected to continue to boom,” said Hsieh, “this is opening the door for up-and-coming Chinese AMOLED suppliers like BOE, Visionox, ChinaStar, Tianma and EverDislpay to make gains in the market.”

However, these firms may have difficulty catching up in critical manufacturing technologies supporting form factors that are challenging to produce, including 3.5D edge curved cover, touch-on thin-film encapsulation, chip on polyimide (COP) driver IC bonding, OLED module contrast and brightness adjustment and compensation.

BOE’s share of the smartphone display market decreased to 19.6% in Q3, down from 23.8% in Q2.

No.-3 ranked Tianma held a 12.5 percent share, up slightly from 12.3 percent in the second quarter.